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Chalk Talk

Does Carey deserve more playing time?

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Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of email questions from fans on ChicagoBears.com.

It seems like second-year pro Ka'Deem Carey is being snubbed a bit. His yards per carry is right up there with Kyle Long and Jeremy Langford with minimal snaps. So why not utilize him more?

Damien G.

I think it was pretty clear how much the Bears value Ka'Deem Carey last Sunday against the 49ers when they had him on the field with the game on the line. He responded with two great runs, a 4-yard touchdown that gave the Bears a 20-13 lead and an 11-yard gain on third-and-10 that enabled the Bears to drain the clock and attempt a game-winning 36-yard field goal. So ZI guess in answer to your question the Bears realize what Carey can do and have been giving him opportunities. I know that coach John Fox is a fan of Carey's running style. Fox told reporters this week that he first noticed Carey in the preseason finale against the Browns when the second-year running back rushed for 68 yards on 12 carries. Said Fox: "That's when he stuck out to me as being a very physical, hard runner. I think he's showed that to us when he's gotten opportunities this season. He's a physical runner, he's north/south. He's probably got as good a run after first hit as anybody, so that's what impresses me."

I think it's very smart of the Bears to use defensive lineman Mitch Unrein as a blocking back in short-yardage situations. Those of us who are old enough all remember William "Refrigerator" Perry, but have the Bears ever used other defensive linemen in those situation?

Merlin P.
Mattoon, Illinois

I remember the Bears using defensive tackle Jim Flanigan as a short-yardage fullback pretty regularly early in his career in the mid-1990s. In fact, he caught three passes for seven yards and three touchdowns in 1995-96 and also caught a 2-yard TD pass in a 1994 playoff loss to the 49ers. The Bears put defensive tackle Anthony Adams on the field for one play as a fullback a few years ago, but he drew a penalty for failing to report to the referee as an eligible receiver and that was the end of his career on offense. I've also enjoyed watching Mitch Unrein in the backfield, especially the block he put on Packers linebacker Clay Matthews Jr. on a Jeremy Langford 1-yard touchdown run Thanksgiving night. Unrein also doubled as a fullback under Bears coach John Fox with the Broncos, even catching a short TD pass from Peyton Manning.

What are Robbie Gould's stats since he had that calf injury last season? His field-goal percentage seems to have dropped him to seventh or eighth when he used to be second or third.

Barb

I don't really think the calf injury that forced Robbie Gould to miss the final four games last season has affected him this year. While he has missed five of his last 14 field-goal attempts, he opened the season by hitting his first 17 tries and is still tied for the NFL lead and tops the NFC with 26 field goals. Gould is currently the ninth most-accurate field-goal kicker in NFL history, a remarkable accomplishment given that he plays half his games outdoors in Chicago.

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